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6 February 2011, 06:00
Buses which aren't used any more are being given to some of our fire crews to help them train.
Crews in Suffolk are using buses, donated by Ipswich Buses, which have come to the end of their commercial life, to develop their skills for rescuing people from buses and other incidents involving pedestrians and larger vehicles.
Carl Rolfe from the fire service told Heart that it's important to practice, even though more serious crashes don't happen as often: "They're quite serious incidents potentially when they do occur, so you do have to be prepared. The crews commonly, day to day, deal with cars and normal vehicles but lorries and buses do become involved on occasion and we need to be on top of our game when that happens."
He also told us that it makes training more realistic, "It really isn't a simulation. They (the crews) don't have to visualise anything, it's there in front of them and we can create scenarios because we've got other vehicles out there as well. You can really have something that looks pretty much like it does by the road side and creates the same problems for the crews to deal with."
From next spring, the Fire and Rescue Service will be opening its new Training Centre in Partnership with the Ministry of Defence at Wattisham Flying Station. The 13 acre site has a variety of ditches, slopes and roadways to provide realistic and testing scenarios for Road Traffic Collision training.
If the training is successful, Suffolk Fire and Rescue hope that it will be something which is brought in across Norfolk and the rest of the region.